ADL Statement on Controversy Surrounding Linda Sarsour

New York, NY, May 25, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released the following statement in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding Linda Sarsour’s selection as commencement speaker at the City University of New York (CUNY) graduation on June 1.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

We profoundly reject Linda Sarsour’s positions that delegitimize Israel. We have vigorously opposed efforts like the Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, which she supports and we oppose her stance that one cannot be simultaneously a feminist and pro-Israel.

At the same time, we strongly condemn the anti-Muslim bigotry and other invective spouted by speakers at today’s demonstration against Sarsour in Manhattan. There is no excuse for bigotry.

Despite our deep opposition to Sarsour’s views on Israel, we believe that she has a First Amendment right to offer those views. CUNY Chancellor Milliken shares in this belief, and recognizes that defending one’s right to free speech does not equate to defending the content of that speech. We commend his principled leadership in denouncing BDS and distancing the University from her problematic views.

As has been our mission for over a century, ADL will stand up against the defamation of the Jewish people and for equal justice for all, which includes robust protections for free speech in our society. But, we will not relent in calling out and debunking hateful or defamatory ideas from wherever they arise.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.